Mediterranean Socca Pizza
Skillet recipes are very popular on food blogs so a few weeks ago I bought one so that I could finally try one of the stack of ‘skillet’ recipes I’ve been saving. (A skillet is better known as a grill pan in the UK).
I got this one from Amazon which was very reasonably priced. Cast iron pans do need to be seasoned before you use them but they are a healthier choice over coated non-stick pans which can release toxins into your food. If you haven’t got a grill pan then this pizza could also be made in a heavy duty cake tin. I’ve made socca in my 8″ round cake tin and it turned out absolutely fine
Socca is traditional street food from Nice, France and is made from equal parts of chickpea flour (also known as gram flour or garbanzo bean flour) and water with a little olive oil and salt. It tastes great on its own but it also makes a great pizza base which is good news if you’re gluten intolerant and love pizza.
My favourite pizza when we’re eating out is the Padana at Pizza Express. It’s topped with mozzerella, goats cheese, spinach and caramalised onions. I have it every time we go there. So I thought I’d try and create something similar but with a socca crust. When you’re making socca it’s important to let the batter stand for a while so that the flour soaks up plenty of water. I left mine for 1/2 hour but you can leave it for up to 2 hours or even in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. And you need to make sure your grill pan is really hot. When you add the oil and batter it should really sizzle; just be sure to use good thick oven gloves, the grill pan gets super hot! For some reason my socca bubbled up a bit in a middle as you can see in the photo below. I just pressed it down again with the back of a spoon and it was fine.
You can use whatever toppings you like. I had courgette, sweet peppers and feta in the fridge but anything goes.
Once the toppings are on it’s just 10 minutes in the oven until you have a delicious, gluten free pizza.
- 60g (1/2 cup) chickpea flour
- 125ml (1/2 cup) water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp mixed herbs (I used oregano and thyme)
- 3 tbsp passata
- 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 small courgette, cut into thin ribbons
- 1/4 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 25g feta cheese, crumbled (omit if you're following the detox plan)
- 1/4 small red onion
- A few torn spinach leaves
- Start by making the socca batter. Mix together the flour, water, oil, salt and herbs and whisk well to get rid of any lumps. Leave to stand at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour.
- Adjust your oven shelf so that it is about 8 inches away from the grill. About 15 minutes before you plan to cook your socca, place a 10" skillet (grill pan) under the grill to heat it up. Please be careful as it will get extremely hot so use some good, thick oven gloves!
- When it's nice and hot, take the pan out from under the heat and add approx. 1 tbsp olive oil, carefully tipping the pan until the bottom is covered. Pour in the batter.
- Carefully tip the pan again to move the batter to the edges and then put it under the grill for 5-8 minutes until the socca has set. It should be a light golden brown colour and the sides should be pulling away from the edge of the pan.
- While the socca is cooking, gently saute the chopped vegetables (except the spinach) in a little olive oil to soften.
- Take the socca out from under the grill. Switch the grill off and turn the oven on to 200 C (395 F).
- Mix together the passata and tomato puree and spread over the socca with the back of a spoon.
- Add the rest of your toppings and then place the pan back in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
- Allow it to stand for a couple of minutes before slicing and serving.